Talk:Soft skills

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Merging to Skill[edit]

Don't merge. With the growth of Service Industries in the U.S. soft skills are comtinuing to grow in importance. Robert Reynolds

  • Don't merge. This is such an important topic that it deserves its own article. --Grace E. Dougle 14:07, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Don't Merge. This artice has be very useful to me. If the two were to merge it would simply make a jumble of things. The length of tha article doesn't matter, maybe someone should just add on to it?
  • Merge Both articles are extremely short. They would be better combined. [User:Jimp|J]]imp 04:50, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Don't Merge! They are very different and need to be seperated.
  • Don't merge. This is such an important topic that it deserves its own article - I suggest both articles refer the other pedropimenta 11:39, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Don't merge. Soft skills are a class of skills on their own and the term is widely used.
  • Don't merge. Its important to have this article. It is way easier to find that way. 85000I 19:07, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Don't merge. The term 'soft skills' has meaning in it's own right, and as such needs separate treatment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Don't merge for all of the above reasons, article was very helpful to me, might not have been found if it was under skills. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:27, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Don't Merge. Expand the soft skills article and keep the two separate. The article contains a list, so we need to reformat as well.Billymuscles (talk) 22:19, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Don't Merge. Expand the soft skills article and keep the two separate. I am pretty sure that EQ is only a small part of what people actually working in the field mean by 'soft skills'. Generall it includes things like cognitive skills, ability to learn, ability to communicate, writing skills, etc. It is in fact a very poorly thought out category, but the current article is very misleading. Is anyone working on this? steven (talk) 16:50, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

related external links[edit]


  • Investopedia is a dictionary. Site identified by two members as spam, link removed.
  • Soft skills aren't a mere cluster of personality says references.
which references? What are they, then? Please state exactly. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:58, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Check the basic references.
  • Equation provided in Marcel's article. MASS Project materials given above also supports this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
This is incomplete "equation" Staszek Lem (talk) 22:58, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
And that is a pov, if its published, that's it.

Major rewrite required[edit]

An IP wrote a text of dubious quality by liberally throwing in references some of which don't even use the term "soft skills", while others are "dictionaries" of unknown expertise, used to promote some businesses. Clearly the concept is somewhat fuzzy and different sources may define the term somewhat differently. These definitions must be clearly entered, like it was done with Collins Dictionary. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:33, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

dictionaries are dictionaries whether they are of unknown expertise or not. The term is not fuzzy, if you don't want it to be, but yes people are lenient to parts of it. When Marcel writes her soft skill equation using previous materials, she identifies people skills as different and subset of soft skills and further explores what are career attribute skills means and mentions social skills. Since soft skills differ from field to field, mostly due to different career attributes requirement - definition of soft skills can get cloudy in amateurish articles or explained around any important skills required. I cant find the exact text I used to paraphrase america promise link, I have deleted the article from my documents. Enumeration and categorization citations are all identifiable with easy google search. Overall the current format of the article is in a better state than that of before, at least it doesn't misguide anyone. I have seen published books and articles quoting directly from wikipedia on soft skills. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:49, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunate, I haven't found the exact material to the cited link. This is a related sentence " 2006 america’s Promise alliance report, entitled Every Child, Every Promise: Turning Failure Into Action, asserts that soft skills are as important to the success of our youth as the more traditional academic indicators"[1] The document I used said "ECEP Report" and further goes on about importance of soft skills in education. If anyone can help, verify or find the crosslink mentioned, it would be a kind gesture. (talk) 06:03, 15 September 2016 (UTC)


"First documented usage"[edit]

I reverted this text because it is based on IP editor's usage of Google ngrams. This constitutes original research not allowed in wikipedia, see WP:NOR. Not to say that Google does not know everything yet. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:02, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Kindly look into Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive259#Move assistance for a start to reckon it as accepted practice. To know more about ngram check Google Ngram Viewer. Ngram is a tool that helps to identify this sort of matters from printed and published materials so it doesn't come within WP:NOR policy and your actions doesn't satisfy other disruptions in deleting external links that is close to the subject. (talk) 07:24, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

Obviously you are not very familiar with WP:NOR. ngram usage in order to make conclusions and put them into wikipedia is disallowed original research. In particular it is false to conclude "first documented use" from ngram. Google did not google all documents on Earth yet. In "Move assistance" you mentioned ngram was not used in article text, but in discussion. You can cite even your grandmother in discussions. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:12, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

Google NGrams are not reliable - we don't know how many books they have indexed. To conclude from this is original research. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 15:38, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
I think its good to take things on a faith that google have a good data collection system in place plus to get a statistical understanding it doesn't require to "google all documents". I have to confess I don't know much about ANI pages, but i took it in a good faith that those discussions are meant for well and sure some could be seen as such. But I am removing it for now to keep it for discussions. (talk) 17:57, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
The first problem is we don't know how Google NGram works - its corpus and the books it has indexed. Secondly, we rely on secondary sources to do this research. Once it is published, we can use it as a source. Otherwise it is essentially original research which is not permitted according to policy. See WP:NOR. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 18:12, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
I agree with the secondary source requirement, it appeals to commonsense. So I have searched and found the year to be 1972 from google books but I still would prefer Ngram results which shows the significant rise of usage from 1980s (there are tools in wikipedia that we believe to be true, right and flawless even if we don't know the working and in cases like mine to analyze the code, test and verify). (talk) 19:40, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
It appears you don't realize what kind of garbage source you have found for "year to be 1972". Staszek Lem (talk) 20:16, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
And I've just added some text into wikipedia which shows that your ngram search was sorely mistaken. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:50, 15 November 2016 (UTC)


It is funny how an army person's straight-on admission of failure:

"in other words, those job functions about which we know a good deal are hard skills and those about which we know very little are soft skills.

converted into a smartass dicdef:

"desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge"

As early as in 1936 Dale Carnegie proved that the latter is total bullshit: how to manipulate people is a knowledge which may be acquired, just like any other. Unfortunately to put this into wikipedia would be original research. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:45, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Could you direct "in other words, those job functions about which we know a good deal are hard skills and those about which we know very little are soft skills" this mentioning in John P. Fry and Paul G. Whitmore; What are soft skills?, 1974, 39pp — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:35, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

CON Reg 350-100-1[edit]

I laid my hands on the document (dated 1 February 1968) and contrary to what Whitmore wrote, it does not define the terms neither "soft" nor hard. On the other hand I run across a 1970 "Review of the CONARC Systems Engineering of Training Program and Its Implementation at the United States Army Aviation School", which severely criticizes 350-100-1 and issues a bunch of recommendations. Assuming Whitmore knew what he wrote, it is plausible to assume that 350-100-1 was seriously rewritten between 1970 and 1972 and possibly this definition was added. But I didn't find the newer version of 350-100-1 nor any refs for its replacement. Staszek Lem (talk) 06:03, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Good work, could you provide a little bit more info on Bonnie Urciuoli article and relation between Whitmore and CON Reg 350-100- (talk) 18:05, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
In of the year looming; not so much spare time. I intend to do more cleanup of this article. The problem is, there are as many definitions of "soft skills" as authors. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:13, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Old-man's rambling: reading all these manuals brought me memories of the good old times when the words cybernetics, operations research, system engineering were buzz of the day and buck UsGov bucks were poured into the projects which were smart to incorporate there keywords. Reading these CONARC proceedings, I was fascinated on the ingenuity of soldiers who worked hard to dress their mundane everyday activities into "hi-tech" attire. Also all these jokes about "MDRI-Enhanced Mark V Spoon USARI MILFOSERV Revised Instruction Manual" or "How

Definitions are extensions of the same and provides better clarity. You may also notice CON Reg 350-100-1 doesn't say anything about soft skills, it is a guide to training, the rest of the material looks like material used from randomly and incoherently. You may also see that the 2 Whitmore link you use is essentially the same, the one presented at the CONARC Conference is the original and the other one is the revised version of this, kindly check to avoid circular links (See: HumRRO 1972-74 publications and presentations index). Plus CON Reg 350-100-1 isn't contributed by Whitmore & Fry and a clear structured definition they have came up with is given in ERIC. As you have initially stated CON Reg 350-100-1 deals with systems approach in training and Air force adaptation of it also doesnt have anything about soft skills. Every input of yours was kept with this in a coherent manner. I hope you would review this...For now I have reverted the googlebooks link. (talk) 01:04, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't quite understand "circular links" I admit I was careless with linking. I did not use material from ERIC. I gave a ref to it, since it is in common access. All what I attributed to Whitmore, including "clear structured definition", I took directly from the original "What are soft skills?", which photocopy file I have. No, CON Reg was not contributed by Whitmore, but in his paper he cited the definition from it (as he stated there), and that's what I wrote. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:49, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
By the way, please don't re-add the ref to the book, which contains dubious statement and you are further introducing more distortion. "traced all the way back" to is not the same as "official usage began". The book does not speak of official usage; the book speaks of what the author managed to trace. The author does not cite any manual to which he allegedly "traced". Also, what the heck is "official"? Moreover I highly doubt the author 'traced' anything themselves, just copied from somewhere else. I "traced" the usage to 1971, where someone described the skill of camouflaging as "soft skills", in concert with the definitions cited. But I am not adding this earlier date to the article, which would be disallowed original research based on primary sources. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:48, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Can you post legible snaps of the said portions from the photocopy for double check and for future editors. The manual the author says it is Whitmore's Conference Presentation (next line), if checked in the ERIC link you may see there are 3 separate divisions to that article. Official: relating to an authority (Here Army) or public body and its activities and responsibilities, used with official authorization. - these are definitions not my words. Primary sources are passable if no content dispute is there because of WP:DEADLINE but subjective understanding and representation of it as chances of camouflaging without the exact word soft skills would be WP:NOR. (talk) 02:11, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
the author is sloppy. The sentence ends at the word 'manual'. The next sentence, which starts with 'John' is (a) incomplete (no predicate) and (b) misquotes the article ref: it should have only one author. Probably she pinched wrong ref from the book by Moss she cites (and this book has this wrong ref). Neither conf proc nor 350-100-1 are manuals. The ERIC article is a 1974 reprint of three articles from the conference in one document, hence two authors. Therefore I have serious doubts in the diligence of Katherine Newman in this minute detail. Yes Whitmore presentation and the whole conference use the term. File:Soft skills def Con Reg.png Here he cites 350-100-1. I can assure you that neither p. 28, nor the whole original 1968 regulation use the term 'soft skills'. I will upload Whitmore's def a bit later; quite a hassle. In any case, so far I see no evidence of "official" (in your definition) usage of the term in 1972, and I question the authority of the books because of glaring errors meaning they did not see the original. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:49, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Only add this one "in other words, those job functions about which we know a good deal are hard skills and those about which we know very little are soft skills." (a bit of background too...) - It is just because it says contrary to the other material and fails to paraphrase or hold similar points. Whitmore definition is in the ERIC article - no need to add it. It is disappointing that CON Reg 350-100-1 doesn't have anything as said in that page. Is the CON Reg 350-100-1 citations and history of it required, since it doesn't cite anything related to soft skills. Harvard University Press isn't something that should be seen lightly, they have a good record - the problem might be the style used in Notes. Official is changed to formal for not confusing. (talk) 03:16, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
re: "in other words" working on it. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:24, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

I removed the following text I saw in some book: For example, in questionnaires, the skill to read a map was commonly marked as "hard skill" despite the fact that no machines are involved. {{cn|date=November 2016}}<!-- I did have a ref a week ago, but I lost it -->. I strongly suspect the book got it wrong somehow. Because what Whitmore in his paper wrote I've just found:

In general, distributions of scores on the three dimensions were very similar across all 35 job functions. However several job functions revealed inconsistencies among the three dimensions. For example, #3, "Interprets and Uses a Military Map" was purposely included in the set of job functions as a 'hard skill' that made use of paper. Apparently most of 35 judges felt that using paper in this was was not the same as interacting as a machine. On this basis, it would be categorized as 'soft-skill'

In other words, the researchers included "map" skill into "hard skills" and applied the criteria used for hard skills (which were different from those used for soft skills) are noticed that the ratings for this skill do not follow the pattern observed for other skills. So they concluded that "map" skill was felt by judges to be rather soft skill. This is opposite what I saw in the book (unfortunately I forgot which). 03:24, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Also I found another indirect ref for the existence of the revised 3500-100-1. One paper at this conf described a 1972 (planned in 1971) project (codenamed Work Unit SMMART "Selection of Methods and Media by Army Trainers") which involved:

...We were concerned with only the three levels of courses which follow entry training. In these levels, we are also interested in both hard-and soft-skill courses. These three levels and two types of skills make up six Army course types as defined in Regulation 350-100-1

Staszek Lem (talk) 03:24, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Here you go: snip. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:37, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Finally in the planning doc for Work Group MODMAN fiscal year 1972 I found the statement "CONARC Regulation 350-100-1<...> presently being revised <...> The method outlined in the regulation adequate for procedural tasks primarily oriented toward machine-acsendant functions, proved inadequaue when applied for analysis of non-routine or man-ascendant functions. Many of the tasks associated with leaders and supervisors are so broad in scope and diverse in nature that only general functions can be described, lest the result will be long lists of relatively disconnected and to a large degree trivial entries". So I conclude that indeed Whitmore may have cited the revised version (which I still cannot locate). Staszek Lem (talk) 03:59, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you, could you keep those to image files below the "CON Reg 350-100-1" heading for others. I had a similar experience with a 1950 material in that I chose to rely on newer material which had a bit more clarity. I guess Whitmore material ( - SKYGUARD Research could be used even if it is a primary source without directly referencing CON Reg 350-100-1, 1968 on soft skills due to the failure of available material to even slightly mention it. But it is a matter of contributing editor's choice to refine the presentation of the material per sources and especially format them as non conflicting (chronology of years, following objective of the paragraph with the title, avoiding contradictory statements...etc.). SMMART shows to be a research wing of the army for cost effective recruitment and selection criteria setting.[1] and I hope searching for detailed material wouldn't end up disappointing as the other material to find history of soft skills. Happy editing. (talk) 04:21, 22 November 2016 (UTC)